Your New Coworking Space Is…At Home?

Here's the next step in the evolution of workplace environments.

Photo credit: Noel Hidalgo via Flickr

Jelly | Photo credit: Noel Hidalgo via Flickr

Coworking spaces have been popping up in almost every major city in the country, and Philadelphia is no exception: last February, Philly had about 578 coworking spaces, a number which grew with the addition of The Fire Works in Cedar Park, Old City’s The Hive,  Industrious on South Broad and Old City, and now, the upcoming Turnkey Startups in Brewerytown (set to open next month).

And we’re sure there’s more we missed and more to come.

(Speaking of which, check out last year’s winners of the best coworking spaces for business and creative types categories in Philadelphia magazine’s Best of Philly list.)

But now comes the next step in the evolution of workplace environments. Co.Exist‘s Adele Peters recently published an article on Hoffice, a Swedish project that involves turning a work-from-home freelancer’s residence into a temporary coworking space. Peters sets the scene thusly:

In the morning, 10 or 12 people might show up at someone’s apartment in Stockholm, as an article in a local paper explains. They perch in on the host’s sofa, sit at the kitchen table, and take phone calls in the bedroom. And by filling the space with people at work—and by setting up an unconventional structure for the day—everyone seems to find it easier to focus.

Hoffice workers, she adds, work for 45 minutes at a time, as research has suggested “people can’t concentrate for more than 40 minutes at a time.” When the short breaks come to an end, each person in the group “explains what they hope to get done” as a way to “add a little social pressure to actually accomplish something.”

And before you knock this as some quirky Scandinavian thing, the roots of the idea actually stem back almost a decade ago to New York, where Jelly founders Amit Gupta and Luke Crawford started inviting friends over to work with them after realizing they enjoyed working from home, but “missed the creative brainstorming, sharing, and camaraderie of a traditional office.” Here’s how Jelly’s website describes itself today:

Jelly is a casual working event. It’s taken place in over a hundred cities where people have come together (in a person’s home, a coffee shop, or an office) to work for the day. We provide chairs and sofas, wireless internet, and interesting people to talk to, collaborate with, and bounce ideas off of.

You bring a laptop (or whatever you need to get your work done) and a friendly disposition.

Looks like we’ve finally arrived at the grown-up version of ‘Hey, want to come over and do homework together?’

Hoffice Turns Your Apartment Into A Free—And Incredibly Productive—Coworking Space [Co.Exist]